Maintaining cognition in aging through education?

There appears to be a clear relationship between education and increased mental fitness in old age. This also applies to people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.

Education has a protective effect against cognitive decline in aging, and it is an important factor that contributes to cognitive reserve, according to the results of a study in which researchers from the University Hospital Innsbruck participated. The study was published in the Journal of the English Language.The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease“Was released.

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To determine if there was a link between education and mental fitness, the researchers retrospectively examined data from 1,392 people from 2009 to 2020. All participants had a neurodegenerative disease such as AlzheimerOr vascular dementia, Parkinson’s disease, or had a mild cognitive disorder. Participants took part in various tests, which were used to assess their mental fitness. In addition, the experts took into account the educational level of the participants, which was measured on the basis of years of formal education.

Education does not always protect

In general, the more educated did better. However, there are areas where the level of education does not seem to matter in cases of severe dementia, but others seem to be better received in more educated people, ”explains study author Laura Zamarian of the Medical University of Innsbruck in one Interview With the APA News Agency ..

Better semantic memory thanks to education?

Especially when it comes to the so-called semantic memory It must be clearly indicated that there is a relationship between education and higher mental fitness. According to the team, this communication includes, for example, understanding language when capturing numerical relationships or complex geometric shapes.

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What is semantic memory?

Semantic memory It helps us understand information and the environment. As we age, we all become more forgetful and less resilient. If the real-world knowledge we learned is automatic, we have a greater mental capacity for other things, ”explains Zamarian, a neuropsychologist.

However, mental stimulation is only one pillar of healthy aging. Moreover, attention must also be paid to a healthy diet, adequate exercise, and a balanced social life.

Learning is important at any age

“I really think learning is important at any age – we can’t just sit back and relax in it,” Zamarian explains. The research team said that the results of the study “indicate the existence of an interaction between the global mental state and training at different cognitive levels and have strong clinical implications.” This should also be taken into account in the diagnostic evaluation and the conduct of comprehensive neuropsychological analyzes is necessary. In general, the study emphasizes the beneficial but selective effects of a high level of education. (Such as)

Author and source information

This text complies with the requirements of the specialized medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been examined by medical professionals.


  • Laura Zamarian, Elfreddy Karner, Thomas Bodner, Atby Jamshidian, Margaret Delazer: The Differential Impact of Education on Cognitive Performance in Neuropathic Patients with Progressive Cognitive Decline, in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease (veröffentlicht Volume 80, Number 4, Pages 1491-1501, 2021) And the The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Austrian News Agency: The Innsbruck Study: Lifelong Learning Has Positive Impact on Dementia (published May 30, 2021), What or what
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important note:
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-medication. He cannot replace a visit to the doctor.


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